William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - The Remorse of Orestes (1862)

The Remorse of Orestes, where he is surrounded by the Erinyes

The Erinyes, or Furies, were daughters of Uranus, personification of Heaven. It is debated whether they are monsters or goddesses. They are generally seen as the avengers of wrong, or goddesses of revenge, justice, and vengeance. Each daughter has a special type of wrongdoer to punish. In some myths, they protect dogs, cats, birds, and beggars, as well. In most myths, they dwell in the Underworld's Fields of Punishment, tormenting evil souls. On rare occasions, they will leave the Underworld to seek out and kill especially horrible mortals. They are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. They are the unceasing, avenging, jealous one's.


  • Parents: Uranus
  • Rules over: vengeance, revenge, justice, self-cursing, perusing, right and wrong, violent death
  • Name meanings: Erinyes = the avengers; Alekto = the unnamable; Megaera = grudging; Tirsiphone = vengeful destruction
  • Roman names: Dirae, Furies (Alecto, Trisiphone, Megaera)


The appearance of the sisters varies from myth to myth. They are usually women with wolf heads and bat wings. They can also be women with snake hair and bat wings. They cry blood and are immortal.


When Kronos slashed his father, drops of Uranus' blood spattered on Gaia's soil. From the blood sprang the Erinyes. Immediately, they took to the air, crying and screaming for vengeance. Then, the three sisters retreated into the Underworld.

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